Life Outside Our Biosphere

Essay by Anonymous UserA+, June 1996

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The fragile balance of the Earth's ecosystem is constantly being disrupted. Overpopulation is placing heavy strain on the world's resources. We are burning all our fossil fuels to create the energy we need, and clearing our rainforests to make enough farmland to feed everyone. The ozone layer is slowly eroding, exposing us to harmful UV light. The room we have on this planet is just enough to provide for our population now! As the population grows, we will find ourselves more and more crowded, with no room left to expand. Solution: Transfer part of the population off the Earth, to colonies established either on other planets or on orbiting space stations. This will lessen strain on the world's land resources by providing more agricultural area, and will help solve problems associated with overcrowding.

In our solar system, a few planetic possibilities exist for colonization. Mars, one of our closest neighbors, was previously a prime choice until it was explored more in depth.

Scientists have now found it to be a red, rocky, barren desert with little atmosphere, no water, and containing no life. If Earthlings were to settle on Mars, we would remain totally dependent on the Earth's resources.

Another close planet is Venus, the second from the sun. This 'sister planet' of Earth proved to have extremely hostile conditions. Scientists were hopeful when they found traces of water vapor in the upper atmosphere, but were disappointed when concentrations of sulphuric acid were discovered mixed with the water. Venus has surface temperatures of around 600 degrees Fahrenheit, and an atmosphere one hundred times as thick as the Earth's. (This produces pressure equivalent to pressure two miles under water on Earth.) These conditions project a less than comfortable life on Venus.

The Moon has held Man's curiosity since we were...